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Grateful Dead Live at Dream Bowl on 1969-02-21

Audio Preview

Grateful Dead Live at Dream Bowl on 1969-02-21

Set 1

Good Morning Little School Girl, Doin' That Rag, Dark Star-> Saint Stephen-> The Eleven-> Turn On Your Love Light, E: Morning Dew

Collection GratefulDead
Band/Artist Grateful Dead
Venue Dream Bowl
Location Vallejo, CA

Source SBD -> Master Cassette -> Reel -> Dat (44.1k)
Lineage Dat (Sony R500) -> Tascam SS-R05 -> Adobe Audition v3.0 -> Samplitude Professional v11.2 -> FLAC
Transferred by Charlie Miller


Reviewer: Chris U. - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - April 9, 2015
Subject: reaching for the golden ring
Great Dark Star here with lots of feedback and inspired playing, particularly the last five minutes or so.

Jerry takes a little break near the first quarter of The Eleven. Some kind of cigarette? Fixing a string maybe? He seems to be struggling to find the notes conistently. The chorus comes off well and from that point on (around 11:00) things start to scorch. Jerry stares at the sun around 13:30 and squeezes a couple dozen triplets out of this guitar at maximum speed. He flips a switch and and the tone is edgier until the band descends into that beautiful minor key outro and, truly, it's one of the best ever finishes (10-12-68 at the Avalon still my personal fave), particularly the drumming.

You can hear Phil at the beginning of Lovelight: "Let's make it a good one!" The first instro break starting around 3:20 or so is lovely ... not a barn-burner but lengthy with lots of great ideas and the band is right behind Jerry. Pig's rap is more or less subsumed by the jamming, he sounds tired or maybe a bit stoned, and ultimately this so-so version belongs to his bandmates (you'll note that the audience is not complaining!).

The Morning Dew is one for the ages. This one will grab you by the booboo.
Reviewer: arghdos - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - April 8, 2015
Subject: The Eleven
Dew is killer, Eleven is mindshattering
Reviewer: Go Faster, Get Rounder - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - January 31, 2015
Subject: The Best. Yes, this one.
Best Band. Best Song. Best Version.

And it is kind of cool that there are three different songs on this show that could conceivably qualify as best song and best version, depending on your personal preference.

But, the winner is The Eleven. Pure freaking improvisational bliss the entire 20 minutes: It is supreme.
Reviewer: JB - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - October 24, 2013
Subject: Wow
Great recording... Standard spring 69. All good. For me any dew pre 72 is not as good as what was to follow. This dew is an all timer. once again this band blows me away when I'm not expecting it!
Reviewer: doug_the_dude - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - February 20, 2013
Subject: --
Another burst of 1969 amazingness - these sets wind up being so similar for this era - winter '69 - that you really do have to find some time to scrutinize the playing very closely - not that it's a chore or anything! :)

So yeah, you *know* it's all great, but do actively sit down with it and give Jerry's guitar-language your undivided attention.

Aside from Phil(?) screaming, most amusingly, "MOTHERF*CKER!!!!!!!" at the closing of Doin' That Rag, there *is* one track on here that absolutely takes the golden candle of distinction, and that's Morning Dew. Listen to how it just comes crashing in on Mickey's gong, a device he uses throughout the opus - it creates an incredible atmosphere.
Reviewer: Tiger Wolf - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - October 24, 2012
Subject: Eye Opening
I almost never listen to anything pre-72 but this has opened my eyes to how great the early stuff can be. I gotta hear more of it.

I also find it a bit sad, because Garcia's playing here is so impressive that it really drives home the extent to which his skills deteriorated over the years. The stuff he does here in The Eleven, for instance; even on his best nights in the last "peak" period of 89-91, he didn't come close to playing with the kind of speed, precision and fluidity he displayed here.
Reviewer: clementinescaboose - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - February 22, 2012
Subject: OMG
this is indeed a HUGE upgrade in sound quality! there is still a good amount of hiss to the tapes, and the sound isn't exactly perfect, but i can hardly complain. the muddiness and muffled sound of the old copy is virtually gone; everything is crisp and bright.

And after much repeated listening, I've decided that this Eleven trumps the night after - it is absolutely spellbinding from start to finish. There have been none like it before or since, and I will not argue with those who consider it to be the greatest of all time. The transition into Lovelight is flawless.

The rest of this show is fantastic also. GREAT Dark Star, and a stunning Morning Dew encore
Reviewer: njpg - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - February 21, 2012
Subject: After a slow start,
GMLSG rages. Some crazy drumming in Eleven. All in all a terrific show.
Reviewer: smokingcratersofthemind - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - July 13, 2011
Subject: A great place to stop and see!!
Let me step not too far from the Fillmore runs of late February, for I have neared the transcendent! It arose before me! The phoenix was soon to catch fire, and burn onward becoming anew in its next life… Ah the previous flame of an endearing inferno; seven people ‘striking a match and being anew’ each concert- they scorch themselves in The Eleven as most are eager to point out… but there is, as always, more to the apparent. Look not far here… this is 1969 and the fire is HOT. They are burning in a thousand myriad ways, and each concert the match is struck. I will do nothing more to point this out, only capture the fleeting in as many paltry words I can grasp. Though easily not the perceived greatest show, I find it to be a lacking judgment to ever bestow such an ambivalent title- to define the Dead would be to imprison yourself. Let your words go free into the wind as the notes dance graceful each day. How glad I am to be such a part of all beauty, for it comes together in us- and the Dead? Nomads of sound!- each concert built and taking apart, Dark Star the loom from which they weave this transcendent sound. They are spectacular in ’69, but to reciprocate the same idea, they are great always. ’69 is a high water mark, but the flood of sound flows onward… A great place to stop and see!!
Reviewer: raindogg - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - May 31, 2011
Subject: Doin that rag motherfucker!!!!
lol that is awesome. Phil was fired up!

Nice quality for a show of this age too.
Reviewer: PigpenLives - favoritefavoritefavorite - March 27, 2011
Subject: my opinion
I don't agree that this is a huge upgrade from 7859. This version has better levels but also suffers from significant hiss. Pick your poison. I would probably choose this version as it seems more amenable to adjustment to personal taste via EQ.

Just as on the other version there are numerous little anomalies. Relative to the best recordings available from this time frame it ranks very average, about 2.5 stars out of 5.

The issue has to be the source material. I've never had my headphones plugged into a playback of a master reel but it seems like some are better quality than others.

Nice Dark Star this night btw.
Reviewer: Pangolin22 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - February 22, 2011
Subject: Doin' That Rag, Motherfucker!!!!!
That just cracked me up.
As the other reviewers stated, this is a much better sounding copy of an excellent show.Charlie Miller works his magic yet again.
Every song is fantastic but the 11 stands out for me for being completely epic.
Reviewer: Cliff Hucker - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - February 7, 2011
Subject: Clarity
This is a tremendous upgrade from the somewhat muddy Owen Brothers remaster of this classic performance.

It's well deserved! These Dream Bowl shows are important performances. The sound quality of much of what circulates from January/February 1969 is compromised. A very welcome and very significant upgrade. Thanks Charlie! (97 pts)
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on 2/7/2011
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